Happy new year, again

If you celebrate Chinese New Year, you feel like you’ve got at least a couple of chances to get things started right. You try to go to the gym twice every week starting from 1 January, and sometime on the 9th you’d fail and hate yourself, and then Chinese New Year comes around, and you find yourself with another date, pregnant with the meaning of a fresh start, to do things right this time. I love it. And then if your birthday falls shortly after that, even better. You get three chances. Well, technically you get a fresh start any minute you decide, but people like…symbolism. Meaning. It’s hard to live an arbitrary life.


Not enough people get Chinese (other than the 1.1 billion Chinese speakers; let me rephrase) – the segment of the Internet that I frequent is predominantly written in English and steeped in the American/British culture, but there are so many gems in the internets of other languages and cultures. Take, for example, the ma shang (马上)meme:

ma shang you qian


Ma shang you qian (马上有钱)literally means, money on top of a horse. Ma shang (马上), by itself, means “immediately” (probably something to do with how horses used to be our fastest mode of transport). So what it’s really saying is “to have money immediately”.

This has led to many people putting many things on top of many cute cartoon horses.

A pair of elephants, meaning a boyfriend/girlfriend

A pair of elephants, meaning a boyfriend/girlfriend

I’m getting Mr Ang to buy me a stuffed toy horse so I can put things on it. In the meantime, a happy Chinese New Year to my friends. I hate seeing all your pictures of food and happy families, but the truth is that I wish I was there (even though when I was there I had wished I wasn’t).


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